Embarking on a magical journey to Peking, I recently had the pleasure of attending the spectacular Aladdin pantomime at the Kirk Theatre in Pickering, brought to life by the extraordinary talents of the Pickering Musical Society and directed once again by Luke Arnold. From the seasoned society members to the vibrant newcomers, the entire cast of players painted a mesmerizing picture on stage, making this production an unforgettable experience.
Leading the comedy with impeccable timing and wit, long-standing society members Marcus Burnside and Stephen Temple shine as they bring their wealth of experience to the stage as Window Twankey and Wishee Washee. Danielle Long, portraying the principal boy Aladdin, captivates with her charisma and remarkable stage presence. Courtney Brown graces the stage as Princess Lotus Blossom, adding a touch of grace and charm to the production.
The comedic pair of Minie and Winnie Wong, portrayed by Paula Paylor and Rachel Anderson, steal the spotlight with their hilarious antics, providing laughter that echoes throughout the theatre. John Brooks embodies the nefarious Abanazer, infusing the character with a delightful villainous charm. Jack Dobson, as the Genie, brings a magical touch to the stage, enchanting the audience with his captivating performance.
Will Smithson as One Long Pong, Millie Fisher as the Slave of the Ring, and Linda Tester as the Empress each contribute to the fabulous ensemble, delivering memorable performances that add depth and richness to the production.
The seamless collaboration between the long-serving society members, the chorus and junior chorus, and the fresh faces added a special charm to the performance. Each actor brought their own unique charisma to the stage, creating a tapestry of characters that captured the essence of the beloved Aladdin story.
The hand-painted sets and scenery were nothing short of breathtaking, transporting the audience to the bustling streets and magical landscapes of Peking. The meticulous attention to detail in every brushstroke created a visual feast that enhanced the overall enchantment of the production.
Adding an extra layer of excitement and energy were the junior and senior dancers from the Sarah-Louise Ashworth School of Dance. Their spectacular routines were a highlight of the show, infusing it with vitality and precision that left the audience in awe. The seamless integration of these talented dancers elevated the performance to new heights.
The musical score, skillfully performed by a fabulous band led by Clive Wass, provided the perfect backdrop for the on-stage magic. The live music enhanced the emotional depth of the production, creating a symphony of sounds that resonated throughout the theatre and added to the overall enchantment.
Behind the scenes, the dedicated tech crews worked their magic to ensure a flawless production. The lighting, sound effects, and other technical elements seamlessly came together, contributing to the immersive atmosphere that transported the audience to the heart of Peking.
In celebrating the Kirk Theatre in Pickering, it’s important to acknowledge the vital role of small local theatres in fostering community and promoting the arts. The Aladdin pantomime is a shining example of how these venues bring people together, offering a platform for both seasoned performers and emerging talents to showcase their skills.
In conclusion, the Aladdin pantomime at the Kirk Theatre is a captivating journey to the heart of Peking. The Pickering Musical Society, along with the exceptional cast, crew, and dancers, has created a production that not only entertains but also leaves a lasting impression on the audience. This enchanting experience is a testament to the magic that can be found within the walls of local theatres, making them invaluable treasures in our community.
The pantomime runs from Thursday 18th to Sunday 28th January 2024. Limited tickets are available here.
Full disclosure: One of our daughters is in this production and I have produced all the rehearsal and production photos for the theatre.